Creator of Icons
Paul Mardikian was born in France in 1963 and spent most of his childhood in Boulogne-sur-Seine near Paris. The artist always felt that "abstraction" was a state of mind, a particular way to look at the world and comprehend its substance. At the age of 25, while studying archaeology and conservation science at the School of the Louvre and the Sorbonne University, Mardikian developed specific tools and materials he now uses to convey his feelings through abstract painting. Mardikian’s training in art restoration offered him a precious understanding of the chemical, physical, and optical properties of paints. Working with the substance of paint and shaping it into a unique, non-representational form of expression has been a revelation to the artist. Two types of artwork emerged beginning in 1988 - small and medium sized icon paintings on wood and the larger paintings on canvases.
From prehistoric sites in Europe to shipwrecks around the world, Mardikian's career in conserving archaeological artifacts has fueled his inspiration. The opportunity to become directly connected to the past, to discover and preserve the fragile remains of ancient civilizations, has left a permanent mark on his artwork. “Interpreting abstract traces of humanity such as imprints, traces of fire, tracks, trash, brush stokes, graffiti, and scarifications left by a human being on any given substrate are part of this iconography. Those traces, whether intentional or inadvertent, are symbolic of the temporary physical presence of a person in the flux of time.”
Mardikian’s work is included in both American and European private collections. Four of his paintings have recently been selected for the Medical University of South Carolina's Contemporary Collection for the new Ashley River Tower. The artist’s first solo show was in February 2008 and his second in March 2010 and the most recent in 2012.